Topic: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I'm gonna come out and say that I don't think remakes are necessarily a bad thing. Three of my favorite films -- THE THING, THE FLY, and BODY SNATCHERS '79 -- are remakes, and improve upon the original in significant ways.

A lot of remakes are unnecessary, but what movie -- recent or not -- do you think could benefit from a remake, not just to make a quick buck but because there's unmined potential there of some kind? And, as a corollary (or maybe the whole reason to have it remade) -- who do you want to see do it?

Be prepared to make your case. If you say GHOSTBUSTERS you'd better have a damn fine argument and a hell of a director in mind.

Me, I'd like to see a new version of MORTAL KOMBAT, with either Prachya Pinkaew or Tony Jaa (the ONG BAK guys) at the helm. Give the flick some Eastern, contemplative flavor, while still getting a violence-riddled film befitting the original violent video game. Hook them up with an experienced VFX supervisor to help them get their bearings with the CG and I bet we'd see shit with Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Goro that'd blow our goddamn minds.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I mentioned this one in an Intermission - it just came to me off the top of my head at the time, but the more I think about it, I believe Buckaroo Banzai was just too ahead of its time, both culturally and cinema-technologically.   In the right hands, a Buckarooboot could be awesome - for example, it could be the uber-movie we've been waiting for Zak Snyder to make.

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Well. Eh. To answer the question, Star Wars is the only movie I've ever explicitly wanted to see remade, but not because I'm aching for new Star Wars or carrying a little hate-on for George. I laugh along and poke fun at him with everyone else, but I'm not really outraged by the special editions or the prequels, just a little...you know, exhausted by it. (The closest he ever got to hurting my feelings, or anything that real, was Star Tours, and I'm over it. Whatever.)

It's mostly because of another thing, which is I wish the concept of "covers" was more prevalent in movies. I love cover songs, as a concept, and I often enjoy the covers as much as the originals. This has to do with the way I categorize songs in my head, which is not as a system of interlocked artists, albums, and songs - though I'm slightly obsessively interested in maintaining that so I can beat you at guess-that-artist in the car - but as executions of chord progressions and melodies and key changes. I'll hear a song and instantly make an empirical statement about it, if I like it. (Not the other way around; too many slow-burn songs have grown on me.) I heard "Say Yes," and said "that is a melody, yes please." Aside from the fact that Elliot Smith wrote it and sang it beautifully, it really has nothing to do with him. He found a device - a melody - that works like a fucking machine, it's perfect, it's a simple and elegant and timeless melody. And every time I hear someone sing it, in any style, even with varying degrees of technical ability, it does the same thing for me.

I feel that way about stories and settings, they're modular. To give an extreme example of what I'm saying, I wish the system in place would celebrate two directors coming out with the same movie in the same year.

Obviously that makes zero financial sense in this market, but I think everyone would learn a lot about how storytelling works, how films work, and especially how directors and actors work by doing it that way. (And something like it has been going on in the live theater world for ages.) And it would underline the great stories and sift through the original ones for new gems.

I don't know. I don't have a list of movies I think should be remade, I think there should be a massive list of movies being remade. The credit for The Wizard of Oz should remain in the hands of L. Frank Baum and the forty thousand people who directed it, just like the credit of Hallelujah stays with Leonard Cohen, but I don't quite understand the virtue of holding up a seventy year old piece of art and saying "this one will always be better." Obviously that's how it works now, but it's arbitrary. It's not that way with music, why is it with films?

Because it's good for you? Sure. I agree, having a broader sense of culture than current culture is an important value. But what's the virtue in making a kid watch The Wizard of Oz, if an equally engaging, modern version comes out? (Return to Oz is not a part of this or any conversation.) I dunno. I think if Pixar felt comfortable doing The Wizard of Oz, they'd do the shit out of it, and it'd result in a fantastic version of the story, with similarities and differences to the original film, but not necessarily any less enchanting.

I used Star Wars as my answer for the same reason I used Wizard of Oz as an example. In my head, the most immediately important thing would be not getting intimidated by the everlasting megahits, afraid to touch them, but to keep covering them. Keep them in the modern culture, not as modern things, but as timeless things that have existed in various forms for years, like stories, parables, songs, that sort of thing.

Why do we think of films as events in history, not as evolving pieces of culture? Why is it that in a hundred years, just like you need to be an art historian to fully appreciate Van Gogh, will you need to be a film historian to fully appreciate Star Wars? Come on, people, it's a great story, it'll work for centuries - it has worked for centuries - why do we give such a shit about the original? (As compared to the four remakes made in the following decades that I suppose should exist, not the special editions.) We don't give a shit about the original apple pie, or Hansel and Gretel, or Bible, or performance of the Star Spangled Banner.



...



And Footloose, definitely Footloose, that's a movie that will definitely resonate with kids today.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

<<<<WELL THIS WAS A FAIL, FEEL FREE TO READ IT, BUT IT"S MOSTLY JUST A JUMBLED MESS OF CONFUSED THOUGHTS THAT I CAN'T SORT OUT RIGHT NOW>>>>


"Why do we think of films as events in history, not as evolving pieces of culture?"

Simply, because they are, they are individual little snapshots of the period in which they're made. A 70's movie feel slike a 70's flick, you know a 50's flick when you see it. What I mean to say, is that the technology behind filmmaking has been evolving so fast that every decade has it's own feel, whether thats sound, color, film grain or digital noise. Music, and especially theater doesn't have that.

Films are so directly linked to the medium in which they are made, because, well, they are so tightly linked to the medium in which they're made. In theater, you can see the same play 15 different times, and you will see 15 diffreent shows, sure, the differences will be subtle, but they'll be there. I've seen perforamnces of Romeo and Juliet done as Orwellian-esque science fiction, I've seen Romeo and Juliet done as classicly as Shakespeare can be done. Whereas with a film, no matter how many times you watch it, Judy Garland will always say "there's no place like home" exactly the same every single time you watch it. It can't be a constantly evolving piece of art, it is what is. And unlike with theater the system hasn't evolved to the point where it can treat it as such. I can give you a copy of Romeo and Juliet and we could perform it right now, and it would be something new. You can't do that with film, at least not in any meaningful way. And definitly not in any profitable way; which really defines why it hasn't grown into that type of thing. The system has never been able to support that type of theology, so no one hs ever seen it treated as such, so no ones knows what it could bring, so no one is ever going to try it; at least not until making a movie becomes as easy as getting 5 people in a room with a script. It's sad, but it's the truth.

As far as covers of songs go, I still say they work because they're easy. It's 4 minutes, you listen to it and you go, eh, alright, and you move on with your life. Just look at Jimmy or pbpproductions and any number of other channels on youtube, they pump covers out like nobodies business, some of them are great, some of em suck. But they pump out cause they're quick and easy. (Yeah yeah, whatever, but compare a 2 hour full hollywood production to a single guy with a camera and a mic in his garage and you tell me which ones easier) Which means hey can be produced judged and adapted too.

You can not do that to movies. It just doesn't work that way. At least not in the current system, with the way people see movies today,  and unless something dramatically changes, that won't change anytime soon. I think people today, though they may not realize, still hold a very high regard for original works, just look at hard people are trying to prevent people from using thier works in new pieces of art (ala remix artists on youtube and elsewhere) the EXTENSIVE EXTENSIVE copyright battles being fought nowadays. When people think of Wizard of Oz (as a film), they think of Judy Garland as Dorthy...thats it, no one else can be Dorthy...cause, well Judy Garland is Dorthy...didn't you see the movie?

Purely theoretically though, I don't think it would work. Under the system you project you would have virtually every good movie being remade after 30 years. When...exactly...will new stuff be produced from what we learned from all these covers? I mean we can barely get a new story out there now, and we're only remaking a few movies a year.

Random thought: I would like to hear you explain the incredbvly vast difference in your view to original works. I've heard you profess on several occasions at your dislike of the lack of good original storytelling in cinema today, and yet here you profess that we need to boost the production of remakes.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2011-09-21 06:53:53)

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

maul2 wrote:

A 70's movie feel slike a 70's flick, you know a 50's flick when you see it.

Without looking it up, tell me when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written. I'll help you - the movie came out forty years afterward. The discrepancy of nearly two generations doesn't seem to have had a lasting impact on the timelessness of the movie; you don't, and I don't, know a good 1900 story from a good 1939 story. I'm not saying we need to replace every older version with its newer version, I'm just saying as a thought experiment it'd be cool if we have film versions of Wizard of Oz throughout history the way we have versions of songs and stories.

I should clarify - I don't mean a script-remake, I mean a story remake.

maul2 wrote:

I've heard you profess on several occasions at your dislike of the lack of good original storytelling in cinema today, and yet here you profess that we need to boost the production of remakes.

I did? When?

Anyway, I didn't say we need anything - aside from not mention Return to Oz - I was just floating why I'm philosophically cool with the idea of remakes, and would like to see more of them made for more worthy properties, and less made from poppy, obvious franchises like The Flintstones and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Teague wrote:
maul2 wrote:

A 70's movie feel slike a 70's flick, you know a 50's flick when you see it.

Without looking it up, tell me when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written. I'll help you - the movie came out forty years afterward.

The one you're talking about, anyway -- the MGM one. Which is actually the fourth film adaptation of Wizard of Oz, two of which were produced in the twenties.

I'm not arguing with you, this actually goes toward your point -- this used to be the way movies worked, to an extent. See also: The Thief of Baghdad, adapted three times in 30 years. And Alice in Wonderland simply must be stopped.

Teague wrote:

I should clarify - I don't mean a script-remake, I mean a story remake.

Your clarification has made things less clear.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Really?

A new version would have as much fantastical story of a girl going to a magic world where she learns the value of friendship, courage and smarts, just, less dust bowl.

I'm definitely not advocating a script remake of The Wizard of Oz, where they adhere to the original document written for a 1939 audience. It would make more sense to modernize the circumstances for the audience at the time, and have more value as a cultural yardstick to say "crazy, in 1939 it was the dust bowl and in 2025 it was evacuated Mexico."

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I'd never heard the term "script-remake" before, so I didn't know what you were talking about. What you're calling script remakes are pretty much never done -- PSYCHO is the only one I can think of and that didn't fly -- so I was taking it as a given that if we were talking about a remake, we were talking about going back to the drawing board, developing a new perspective on the material and writing a new script.

If there is a point to remaking a film at all, in my view, it's to do something different and take fuller advantage of certain opportunities, which is what I was asking about in the initial post.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Right, yeah, I just gathered that Maul might not be taking it as a given, because otherwise I can't make sense of this:

maul2 wrote:

A 70's movie feel slike a 70's flick, you know a 50's flick when you see it.

Anyway. In the spirit of your question, I say Harold and Maude.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Resident Evil is in need of a serious reboot.

maybe something, I don't know, closer to the games?

The Wobbling Warrior

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I don't see the value in remaking a good film, which is what they seem to do most of the time, but there are quite a few old genre films that tell a compelling story but fell a little short on the execution.

The Black Hole - this is a fun Disney movie with cute robots that sort of makes it family fare, but it has some dark undertones (one being a mad scientist) that I believe would make for an excellent premise in a harder and more adult-targeted sci-fi setting.

Saturn 3 - I find the story here to be really engaging but the film has unfortunately not dated well at all.

Transformers - this really needs a full on reboot. Hopefully the 4th film we're getting is going to be one.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Kyle Monroe wrote:

Resident Evil is in need of a serious reboot.

maybe something, I don't know, closer to the games?

Tysto and I actually recently did a commentary for the first film in that series. It'll be out on October 3rd at his site.

I am one of those rare beings who actually likes the film and the games as separate forms of entertainment. I was very surprised when Milla Jovovich announced on her Twitter feed that she was packing to travel for the next film's shoot.

I would be curious to see another take on the material, closer to the events of the game. I read George Romero's original script for Resident Evil. Not bad, but I get why the studios decided not to run with it.

I'd imagine someone like James Gunn could do well with it, although the second game (which takes place in a police precinct) is my favorite in the series, so I'd rather see that.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Teague wrote:

Right, yeah, I just gathered that Maul might not be taking it as a given, because otherwise I can't make sense of this:

maul2 wrote:

A 70's movie feel slike a 70's flick, you know a 50's flick when you see it.


That's because you missed my point entirely. I'm not talking about the script. I'm not even in the vicinity of talking about the script. What I'm talking about is the MOVIE. The actual frames of film that are projected on to the screen and the actual sound that is piped through the speakers.

My point is that they, in and of themselves, are tiny little snapshots of that era. Judy Garland in her gorgeous heyday, the types of sound effects they used in that period of filmmaking, the makeup they used for the wicked witch all of that is so utterly iconic of that era, that I can place it instantly, because 10 years down the line, they were doing something different. That's what people latch onto, even if you get the best team behind a wizard of oz remake and it's got an amazing story and everything is perfect. It still won't be Judy Garland or those sound effects or that makeup. For some movies, those elements are as much an element of what makes them so great and memorable that they are in many ways inseperable from the story or characters when people think of the movie. Just as people won't be able to think of Transformers without think of hyper colour teal and orange.

And yes I agree, I would love to see a Wizard of Oz with today's visual effects budget behind it. But I'll still love the Wizard of Oz because of all those things about it. I believe that one of the many reasons why theater and music never had to go through this phase is because there was no record of it, the entire medium was based around single serving dollops. You go to a concert or performance, you watch it, and you go home. If someone else wanted to put on that show or perform that piece, then it was instantly a "cover", but with film you can't do that; just by it's very nature, it is a static thing.

Do you get me? Has this made it any clearer?

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Teague wrote:

...I didn't say we need anything - aside from not mention Return to Oz -...

I would like to politely invite you to go fuck yourself. smile

I'm mentioning it. I like Return to Oz. Though it is a sequel, it's a sequel to the book, and is way more faithful to Baum's material. Also, the main child character is actually played by a child (gasp!), and (most importantly) nobody breaks into fucking song!

You know what film I wouldn't mind seeing an update of? Miracle Mile. Now, I love that movie, but it is quite dated, and the limitations of that period (both in budget and technology) prevented that film from reaching its full potential. I'm thinking someone like David Koepp could write and direct, as he's handled similar themes and ideas (The Trigger Effect, which I'm also a fan of).

What say you, DiF chat?

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Teague, have you seen any of Steven Moffats 'Sherlock' ? It seems to be the sort of thing your talking about. taking the Holmes character and putting him in a contempary setting just as films in the forties had him going to fight Nazis.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I actually think that they should have just remade Tron instead of doing a sequel. Tighten up the story, get all our fancy new effects in there, and you've made a remake worth watching.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Most people seem to agree that there's just not much point in remaking a story that has been told in a definitive version (which I think is what Maul is perhaps overemphasizing), because you're either going to end up aping Curtiz's Casablanca (for example) or self-consciously re-imagining it. But there are TONS of stories out that that have been done well but could be done better or even just done well again.

I, of course, would start with Bugsy Malone. The kids should do the singing.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

There are a handful of ways to look at this. 

I think the guiding principal should be, generally speaking, to remake BAD movies that have great premises.  It can range from basically phantom editing (Sunshine, sans the Sun Zombie, or circumcising the last 25 of A.I.) to total reworking.  Michael Bay's The Island could very easily, and with little effort, be a brilliant story and film.  It never explores the ideas it flirts with fully, and the bad science can be fixed without changing the story.

And it would be a waste to spend 50 million to remake Sunshine just to take out a zombie.  You'd need an additional, stronger thematic reason.  But when you start changing the themes and mood of Sunshine, you lose the parts that make Sunshine great.  So movies like Sunshine and AI are in an un-remakeable  position.  Curse the filmmakers for not getting it right the first time and move on.

I'll tell you where I think coming close to direct remaking could work - Comedy.  Dirty Work and Mystery Men are the prime examples.  They're close to being perfect, but Dirty Work has some major flaws in pacing, editing and execution.  A good director who isn't Bob Saget could have made gold of that film.  It's a mean version of Ghostbusters, damnit.  Shouldn't fail.  And Mystery Men just suffers from being flat.  It feels lifeless.  It's so well written it overcomes the director.  But what if it had a good director?  But since a comedy is supposed to make you laugh, you can remake something almost shot for shot and I think the audience will forgive you.  Provided its funny the second time around.

Reinterpreting can be fun, but it's mostly child's play IMO.  I haven't really thought about it, but it seems taking an original story and transplanting it into a VERY different mold is interesting.  I don't pretend to be a Bill Shakespeare expert, but I read Hamlet a couple times.  And people tell me that Lion King is totes Hamlet n shit.  And I can see where someone would say that.  Good results.

To Teague's point on directors getting the same script - look no further than Fail Safe vs Dr. Strangelove.  The scripts are almost identical and were released within spitting range of each other. In plotting and premise, no difference.  Shows you how important interpretation is.

So yeah.  I'd love to see The Island remade.

Last edited by iJim (2011-09-21 18:38:26)

Everybody, get up. It's time to slam now. We got a real jam going down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here's your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright?

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Here's the practical problem, tho: audiences aren't interested in seeing the towering masterpiece you created using the building blocks of Biodome because Biodome sucked. But they are interested in seeing the steaming pile of dung that you created out of the building blocks of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was great but just had a few little problems. So the money in remakes is remaking good movies that aren't awesome movies.

Also, I think AI was a terrible idea for a movie, and The Island wasn't much better.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Also, The Island was a remake.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/22/Parts_The_Clonus_Horror_%28poster%29.jpg

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

I think the similarity to Parts: The Clonus Horror was an honest mistake.

Cribbing from Logan's Run, however, was not.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Zarban wrote:

Here's the practical problem, tho: audiences aren't interested in seeing the towering masterpiece you created using the building blocks of Biodome because Biodome sucked. But they are interested in seeing the steaming pile of dung that you created out of the building blocks of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was great but just had a few little problems. So the money in remakes is remaking good movies that aren't awesome movies.

Also, I think AI was a terrible idea for a movie, and The Island wasn't much better.

There is a difference between what should be and what is.   You're correct in describing what is.

But you're very incorrect about AI and The Island being bad ideas for films.  Both are loaded with opportunity for conflict and drama.  We should start a podcast and argue the finer points.

EDIT:  Do I want to see Parts?  This is the first I'm hearing of it.

Last edited by iJim (2011-09-21 20:56:05)

Everybody, get up. It's time to slam now. We got a real jam going down. Welcome to the Space Jam. Here's your chance. Do your dance. At the Space Jam. Alright?

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Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Parts is actually okay, but it gets a bad rap because they did it on MST3K.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Movies that SHOULD be remade/rebooted

Zarban wrote:

Also, I think AI was a terrible idea for a movie, and The Island wasn't much better.

I'm of the view that there's no such thing as a terrible idea for a movie, just a terrible execution. "Sci-fi Pinocchio with a robot instead of a puppet" is not a bad idea for a movie by any means.

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